Real Salt Lake lost a hard-fought match at the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 Sunday.
The loss ends a tumultuous season for Salt Lake that saw very high highs and extremely low lows. From nearly winning the CONCACAF Champion’s League to the devastating injury of Javier Morales, Salt Lake saw a wild season.
“I think it was a microcosm of our season,” coach Jason Kreis said. “Was it a night we didn’t attack well enough? Maybe. But we did have chances to score.”
Salt Lake hit the woodwork twice in the loss, but was unable to put away the necessary goals.
The match started out playing even but Salt Lake got the first chance on frame in the 5th minute when Robbie Russell got on the end of a Javier Morales corner kick and fired point blank into Josh Saunders. The Los Angeles keeper made the save and kept the match scoreless.
Los Angeles had a good chance in the 9th minute when Landon Donovan got open on the right side during a switch. He was able to freely cross the ball, but Nick Rimando pounced on it to eliminate the danger.
Los Angeles started to move more of the play into Salt Lake’s half around the 15th minute. This paid off in the 22nd minute when Landon Donovan’s cross to Omar Gonzalez ended with Andy Williams pushing the Galaxy centerback and referee Jorge Gonzalez giving a soft penalty kick to Los Angeles. Donovan converted and gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
Alvaro Saborio responded in the 25th minute, when Jamison Olave flicked a Javier Morales corner kick to him. The Costa Rican put it in and equalized the match.
In the 33rd minute, Robbie Keene nearly scored off a set piece, firing hard through traffic and hitting the post; however, Salt Lake was able to clear it.
Keene nearly scored again in the 43rd minute when he juked by Jamison Olave and fired a hooking shot that just missed wide of the post.
Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman hit the post to end the first half, leaving the score knotted at one.
The second half started out with Salt Lake controlling possession, but Los Angeles had the first good chance with a counterattack in the 51st minute. Beckham played wide to Keene who crossed to Barrett; however, Will Johnson was able to deflect the header away.
The Galaxy took the lead in the 58th minute when Beckham’s service found a diving Mike Magee in the box.
Salt Lake nearly answered in the 60th minute when Espindola took a surprising shot and hit the bottom half of the crossbar, but it bounced away harmlessly.
Los Angeles scored again when Keene got a one-on-one with Olave and was able to get around the injured defender in the box with a remarkable cutback. His 68th minute shot beat Rimando and gave Los Angeles a two-goal lead.
Javier Morales got a shot on frame in the 84th minute when he juked around the top of the box, and fired. Josh Saunders was fortunate to make a diving save.
Fabian Espindola had a last gasp in the 90th minute when Saborio caught him on a run and The Argentine went one-on-one with Saunders. He missed wide right by a foot.
The Galaxy held on to win 3-1 and earned a birth in the 2011 MLS Cup Final against the Houston Dynamo.
Man of the Match
Javier Morales fought hard and created many chances for Salt Lake. He is the man of the match.
Jason Kreis pulled a surprise on everyone and started Jamison Olave, but not Nat Borchers:
- FORWARD: Saborio, Espindola
- MIDFIELD: Williams, Beckerman, Morales, Johnson (75’ Gil for Williams)
- DEFENSE: Russell, Olave, Schuler, Wingert (67’ Grabavoy for Russell) (82’ Beltran for Olave)
- KEEPER: Rimando
Category: Game Review